Sunday, December 7, 2008

Activist Rehersal

I haven't been posting because I don't feel like I don't have much to tell you most days.

Unless you want to hear about Jewish Anarchism, about a history of radical political counter-culture in America, about assimilation and whiteness making, about radicalization through construction of the Judeo-Christian tradition in the armed services.

Or trans activism. How when we aren't explicit about our motivations, we can undermine them through our organizing. How the trans movement is endebted to second wave feminism. About how empowerment, consciousness-raising, and community building are ways of resisting transphobia in it multifront battleground. About how we forget this.

Thus is the life of an academic I suppose. Here's a try...

I remember the moist air that clung to my jugular as I climbed the stairs to a mod at Hamshire College last semester. Sweat mingled with pizza fumes as I pushed my way through the patch-clad clusters of grunge hold-outs and trannarchists. The room settled for the concert. Young people sprawled haphazardly around the anarchist with a guitar. Piercing matted faces hung in the doorway. Women in flannel sat Indian style, flowing over into cuddle piles on the floor. I came as I had spent most of my days since I moved to Northampton-alone.

The fragrance was distantly reminiscent of a place I could not stand to be anymore but the contrast was real. I felt at home here more than I had in months. Brattleboro hung on their tongues shaped in words like ecology and sustainable agriculture, but they fell silent as he began to wail. Indictments. Patriarchy and corporations. Train-hopping through tunes that laid bare my frustrations. I felt too vulnerable to make eye-contact. I felt to cozy not to.

I invited Evan Greer to my college hoping for a sense of community that always falls short of my expectations. I hoped he could some how jump start my commitment to this place I'd turned my back upon. For all of his charm, he could not. I choreographed the privilege walk effortlessly. I sketched the outline of social justice with my eyes closed. I day dreamed through the mind map of climate change. I was a learned yet terrible activist. I was bored. The exercises felt passe', rote, self-congratulatory even. I feel like I'm stuck in an activist rehearsal, and I'm waiting for the stage call...

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